Monday, March 30, 2009

Black actors white stages

"We are still a white audience. If you're watching a cast of negroes, you are still looking at something which in a certain way is strange. We look with white eyes at a negro," said a white actor in a dicussion on TV about black actors in theatre plays.

The scene was a Dutch discussion between a black actor and two white directors. The background was the fact that the only black actor in the cast found some of the elements of his dialog in the play racist. He had to say: “She has the colour of shining hors manure”, which revert to the colour of a black woman. The line was eventually altered.

In the discussion a tape was shown about what a colleague actor had to say about the whole matter, he said: “We look with white eyes at a negro."

The moderator looked at the black actor and repeated what the white actor had said. The black actor answered: “I don’t see it as racist comment, this comment should be seen as part of the internal discussion.“

But it went on. There where more reasons why black actors have difficulties getting on the stages. “Plays aren’t written for black actors,” one director said. “It’s the same as with older woman, roles in plays are usually written for young woman.”

But in the discussion all parties agreed that nothing had changed over the years, black people are still barely seen in the theatres. But, as one of the directors noted, things where changing.

In the UK black playwriter Bonnie Greer is also waiting for change. In a column in the Guardian entitled ‘The white stages’ she wrote: “But subsidised theatre does have shareholders. Black people pay taxes, too. Yet we are consistently underemployed, underused. Invisible. I can hear the arguments out there about "emerging playwrights", and so on. We've been emerging for so long we should be in the stratosphere by now. But we aren't.”

I think that Bonnie Greer finally got her answer. The reason why black actors are underemployed, underused and invisible is that some people look with white eyes at a negro. That plays aren’t made for black people, and that black actors are the same as older woman.

By the way, the Dutch play was entitled ‘Black Face’. The story is not about the racist Black face theatrical makeup, but about a not accepted romance between a black man and a white woman.

Monday, March 23, 2009

UK Lola Adesioye about “Blacks, Whites hear Obama differently"

Lola Adesioye is a New York based Socio-Political Commentator who writes about race in the US and the UK. In a blogpost she makes some interesting comments about the story entitled “Blacks, Whites hear Obama differently.”
She writes: "The basic premise of the article is that Obama’s speech and mannerisms are coded in such a way that he can do and say things that black people will recognize and feel familiar and comfortable with, but that will slip under the radar of most white people. He can therefore “be black” and appeal to black people without overtly talking about race."
For instance whites didn't get the meaning of the ‘fist bump’ that Barack Obama and Michelle do, and the fact that Barack Obama plays basketball as opposed to golf.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

WANTED: young video ambassadors for StrangerFestival 2009

StrangerFestival is looking for 10 ambassadors. Reward: travel to and stay in Amsterdam for the full festival in October. Apply before 1 April 2009!

What is an ambassador?
You are aged between 16 and 26, make videos yourself and use the Internet to show your videos. You have an online network of other young video makers, and are willing to ask them to upload their best videos on the Stranger website.

Stranger Festival

Sunday, March 8, 2009

More black UK TV on the internet

Colourtelly is Britain's first black-interest television network providing several channels of drama, documentaries, music shows, children's prgrammes and news. It's on 24 hours a day on www.colourtelly.tv. Founded by the legendary great Black Briton Carroll Thompson in the summer of 2007 it now has viewers in every corner of the Uk and in many other parts of the world also.

Read: Coloutelly.tv the Guardian

Monday, March 2, 2009

Being black in Germany

Being black in Germany. If you always wanted to know what it’s like being a black German person living in Germany, then this is a video you must see. In the video writer and cross-cultural scholar Nguvi Kahiha explains the full spectrum of the black diaspora in Germany. He looks at the historical influx of blacks, which started over 400 years ago and shifts focus to the current Afro-German culture and past African-American presence in Germany, which includes W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Colin Powell. Nguvi Kahiha has a black African father and a white German mother

Some quotes:

“You are German or you are not. And since your black your not German anyway.”

“Afro-German are German born blacks with one parent African-American or African decent and another parent German decent. And blacks who have both black parent but are born into the German culture.”

“Historically, Afro-German where socially and culturally disconnected from the German society.”

Watch: Being Black in Germany

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